Contact: John Hartgen
FIRST QUARTER CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY FILINGS FALL
6 PERCENT FROM 2010
April 4, 2011, Alexandria, Va.— Consumer
bankruptcies for the first quarter of 2011 (Jan. 1 – March 31)
decreased 6 percent nationwide from the same time period in 2010,
according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), relying on data
from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC). The data showed
that the overall consumer filing total for the first three months of
2011 (Jan. 1-March 31) reached 340,012, down from the 363,215 consumer
filings recorded for the first quarter of 2010.
“Though bankruptcy filings are still elevated, consumers continue
to take steps to reduce debt levels and shore up their finances,”
said ABI Executive Director Samuel J. Gerdano.
“As a result, we now expect that consumer bankruptcy filings will
dip below the 1.5 million filings recorded last year.”
A month-by-month look at the data showed that the overall consumer
filing total for March reached 144,657, up from the 102,686 consumer
filings recorded in February 2011. Though an increase from the previous
month, the March 2011 consumer bankruptcy total represents a 3 percent
decrease from the 149,268 filings recorded in March 2010. Chapter 13
filings constituted 26 percent of all consumer cases in March, a slight
decrease from February.
ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization
dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency.
ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased
analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes more than
13,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders,
turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a
forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional
information on ABI, visit www.abiworld.org. For additional
conference information, visit http://www.abiworld.org/conferences.html.
NBKRC is an online research center that offers subscribers access to
up-to-date research and statistics on bankruptcy filings. The database
contains complete information dating back to 1995. For more information
on NBKRC, please visit http://www.nbkrc.com.
*Definitions from Bankruptcy Overview: Issues, Law and Policy, by the
American Bankruptcy Institute.
Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code is available to both individual and
business debtors. Its purpose is to achieve a fair distribution to
creditors of the debtor’s available non-exempt property.
Unsecured debts not reaffirmed are discharged, providing a fresh
Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for both business and
consumer debtors. Its purpose is to rehabilitate a business as a going
concern or reorganize an individual’s finances through a
court-approved reorganization plan.
Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code is designed to give special debt
relief to a family farmer with regular income from farming.
Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code is available for an individual with
regular income whose debts do not exceed specific amounts; it is
typically used to budget some of the debtor’s future earnings
under a plan through which unsecured creditors are paid in whole or in